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Old March 8, 2007, 12:05 AM   #1
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Join Date: September 10, 2005
Posts: 9
Powder recommendations for multiple cartridges?

I am going to start reloading. With prices being what theyare for ammo and reloading components these days, I'm wondering if it's possible to just order a minimum of different powders for the cartridges I'm going to reload and use them across a few of them.

I'm looking for powders that can be loaded with economy for the following cartridges:

.308 Win/7.62 NATO
.45 Auto (ACP)
9mm Luger
9mm Makarov
.38 Special/.357 Magnum
7.62x54R Russian
7.62x39 Russian

Also, I'll be loading the following cartridges in the near future:
.223/5.56 NATO
6.8mm Rem SPC
.40 S&W/10mm Auto
.303 British
7.92/8mm Mauser
7.62 Nagant
.44 Special/.44 Magnum
12 Gauge shotshell/slug
20 Gauge shotshell/slug

I'm looking to duplicate factory/military rounds, using FMJ/JHP bullets. I don't forsee using lead bullets at all, unless they're the plated type (too many indoor ranges around here). Most of my firearms are semi-auto of one type or another, so the loaded rounds must function the action. I'm also trying to keep muzzle flash to a minimum, and I'd prefer powders that don't burn as "dirty" as others I've seen (powders in Russian-made ammo are VERY dirty burning stuff, as I'm sure many of you know). Military surplus powders are certainly on my list of possible purchases.

Just looking today at MidwayUSA's powder selection: Yeah, they have a decent selection, but with a $20 hazmat fee, PLUS a $10 handling fee, PLUS their normal shipping and handling fee, we're already talking about $40+ in fees on a one pound canister of powder that retails for $18! Buying in bulk is fine, if you already know what you need - otherwise, buying an 8 pound jug for $100 or more (plus the $40-$50 in extra fees, don't forget) isn't economical - and this is just for ONE kind of powder. Everyone else seems to have three or more kinds of powder for each cartridge they reload, so we're talking MAJOR dollars here if this is what's required - even if just ONE different powder per cartridge is required, it's easily over $1500 just in powder. Can't see how this is saving any money.

As I'm on a fixed income (and a limited one at that, on my military disability pension), ammo costs and availability is becoming a major issue for me. Reloading looked like the way to go, but not at these prices. Please help!
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Old March 8, 2007, 02:38 AM   #2
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Unique works well in shotguns and a host of handgun loads, but it can be a pain to meter. W231 works in a lot of handgun loads, too. W760, H4350, RL-15 in a lot of larger bore centerfire rifle. You can find a lot of loads for the 223rem that use RL-15 too.
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Old March 8, 2007, 03:42 AM   #3
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+1 on Unique as a good powder for pistols.

Your best bet, if you're going to start reloading, is to buy two or three different reloading manuals. I'd suggest a Hornady manual and a Speer Manual. Why multiple manuals? Because they will list loads using different powders and/or bullet types which will give you a more options.

It might be useful, for you, to create a chart of the calibers you'll reload, then list all of the powders the reloading manuals show for each. This exercise will point out the most used and least used powders for your calibers.

Before ordering in bulk, start off with a local purchase of 1-lb of powder and try it out before deciding to use it exclusively. See if it's flash and residue properties meet your criteria. If so, then you can purchase the right powder in larger quantities.
BillCA in CA (Unfortunately)
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Old March 8, 2007, 06:21 AM   #4
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Red Dot is a shotgun powder that works in 380s,9mm,40S&W,and 357 Sig, and 45s. Have reloaded all these calibers with it and it works fine. Easy to find recipes too. John
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Old March 8, 2007, 08:00 AM   #5
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H-380 shows up a lot as a rifle powder, meters easily and should cover several of the 7mm and .30 cal cartridges. Don't know how many others will be covered by it.

+1 on the multiple manuals. I have the Speer and Lyman manuals. The lyman covers many bullet styles and weights whereas the hornady and speer manuals usually only provide data for the specific bullets they make. They might also only list powders that their sister companies produce.

Each of the powder companies usually have lots of good data on their websites.
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Old March 8, 2007, 08:36 AM   #6
Join Date: October 24, 2005
Posts: 57
Reloading Powders

Most powder manufactures have freebie powder booklets that have lots of
powder choices and recipes for loads. Also, go to Hodgton, Alliant, and other
powder manufacturers web sites for powder recipes. I use Winchester 231
and 296 for several recipes. Very clean. Also, Hodgton"s International Clays
and Universal Clays have clean loadings. Staying away from lead bullets in
favor of copper jacketed bullets is a good decision. Last summer, was shooting copper jacketed 40 cal bullets, and sun was in right position. Could
see sun glint off bullets as they were fired and traveling to targets! My children and me too were fascinated. I enjoy reloading as much as shooting.
If you don't already, as you reload, put reloads in plastic bag or container
with reload recipe for easy comparison of reloads. We enjoy the comparisons.
Also, use chronograph to aid comparisons. Be safe, and enjoy.
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Old March 9, 2007, 12:27 PM   #7
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I'd agree on Unique & H380. But would also recomend consideration of IMR3031. Those are the 3 puwders that I buy by the 8# jug.
A scalpel can be just as effective as a broadsword

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